This morning, we all went just a tiny bit out of our comfort zone - which is the optimal spot for learning, I've found. I told the students that they would be making loaves of Irish Soda Bread by themselves, in their tribe family groups. I would give them just a bit of help at the beginning by reviewing the ingredients and materials needed (with a quick reminder that if the recipe calls for 4 cups of flour, it is actually 8 half-cups). After that, I would step in at the end to help get the dough on a baking sheet.
They were left to figure out how to make it so that each person felt part of the process, and how to follow the recipe correctly. Certain children took a leadership role by reading the recipe and organizing turns. Everyone agreed that currants were yucky, and they left out of each loaf. You can read the recipe HERE.http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/irish_soda_bread/
I joked with the adults that happened to pass by that I was being tested more than the children. As I'm sure you all can relate, it is difficult to stand by and watch children figure things out, make mistakes, maybe even argue, without stepping in immediately to wipe messes, answer questions, or "fix" things.
In the end, the children have 3 beautiful loaves of soda bread which will be waiting for them at afternoon snack (along with butter and strawberry preserves).
And the lunchroom is spotless, too.